(image: Unsplash: : Alysha Rosly)
With the weather starting to warm and the Covid-19 vaccination rollout in full effect, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. After a long and difficult year, things are starting to look up but if you’re finding it difficult to put the past behind you, you’re not alone. A year of social distancing and mask mandates has taken its toll, but the good news is with a little intentionality you can turn your attitude around to take full advantage of what the new year has to offer.
Here are six simple tips to help you stay positive this year.
1. Be grateful for what you have.
Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, there’s always something to be grateful for – you just have to learn how to see it. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a simple first step to take toward a more positive outlook. Start by jotting down a few things in a blank notebook or journal that you are thankful for each day. Over time, it will become second nature to recognize the good things in your life and you’ll find yourself spending less time focused on the negatives.
2. Maintain positive connections with others.
Spending the last year social distancing and self-isolating has been hard on all of us, but there are still ways you can stay connected with others. Cultivating positive relationships and distancing yourself from toxic people can go a long way in helping you stay positive. Look for opportunities each day to make someone else smile, especially when you’re feeling down yourself. It’s the simple things like making someone’s day that can turn your attitude around the quickest.
3. Set goals to keep yourself moving forward.
Over the past year, we’ve all been stuck in a state of suspension waiting for Covid numbers to decline so we can get on with our lives. If feeling stuck is getting you down, set a few goals for yourself to create the feeling of moving forward. It doesn’t have to be anything major, either. Make an effort to include exercise in your weekly routine or make a commitment to connect with a friend or loved one at least once a week. Each time you accomplish a goal, the self-satisfaction will motivate you to reach the next.
4. Acknowledge and adjust negative self-talk.
While you’re working on cultivating an attitude of positivity, the biggest obstacle you’ll have to overcome is in your own mind. We all have a running dialogue of self-talk going through our heads on a day-to-day basis and that inner voice is incredibly influential on your attitude and outlook on life. If your inner voice is constantly negative, your attitude will be too. Consider taking a mental health day to relax and refresh so you have the energy to start acknowledging negative self-talk and, more importantly, to start working on turning it around.
5. Start each day with a positive affirmation.
The biggest challenge you’ll have to overcome in creating a more positive outlook is defeating your own negative thoughts. You’ve probably heard the saying “fake it until you make it,” and sometimes that’s exactly what you will have to do. Begin each day with a positive affirmation and you may just find it becomes easier each day to keep the positivity train rolling.
6. Seek support and help when you need it.
We could all use a little support now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you’re trying to improve your outlook and take on an attitude of positivity, a lot of the work will be internal. That being said, however, having someone to help guide you through the process or to simply act as a sounding board can be invaluable. Whether you’re struggling to overcome anxiety, dealing with depression, or just looking for advice, a counselor or therapist could provide the help you need.
Though you may not be able to control every detail of your life, you can control your attitude. How you respond to challenges shapes your outlook on life and choosing positivity can make all the difference. Take what you’ve learned here to make this year the best one yet.
This article was written by a freelance writer.